The boy in the picture above is Ishimaue. I’m pretty sure that’s how he spells it. It’s pronounced EE-she-mah-way. He and his family are from Tanzania. They moved to America 3 or 4 years ago because, according to him, “our country was running out of food.” His dad was a doctor in his home country.
Now, like many of the African immigrants in Amarillo, he works at Tyson Foods. Unlike many of the African immigrants who are moving into the North Grand Villas, Ishimaue’s family is not a Muslim family. As a result, he and his little brother Nio have been coming to our Thursday Bible studies for the last month or so. Yesterday, they introduced me to another family new to the North Grand Villas. They’re from South Africa, though their mother is Tanzanian.
It’s a really interesting, fun new challenge that we’re facing. 5 years ago, NGV was around 75% African American. Now it’s moved to a mixture of races and cultures. There are still several African American families, but we also have several Anglo, Mexican, Somolian, Sudanese, Thai, and even an Iraqi family. So many cultures, so many religious backgrounds, and so many new opportunities to minister.
This summer I hope to began to really begin to build some relationships with these families new to America. Some of the kids, like Abdul and Lee from Somalia and Mohommed from Iraq, are not allowed to attend my Bible Studies, but they play outside with us every chance they get. So I plan on having some fun stuff outdoors to get families like theirs involved.
Jesus commanded us to “go into all the world.” At Mission 2540, the world is coming to us. And that’s kind of fun.